Microsoft Looks for Live Hires RRS feed

  • Question

  • Microsoft's Online Services group is hiring and reaching out through the Web. Who said only Google hires all the smart people?

    The group responsible for MSN and Windows Live has set up its career shop at whyyouwillworkhere.com. There is video featuring Microsoft employees and job information for six geographic regions.

    The "browse the planet and find yourself" slogan is appealing.

    It's an interesting recruitment approach that could backfire. There's a kind of news and blog bias—or presumption—that all the good talent is headed to Google and that in online search it's game over, Microsoft lost. Some people might look on the Microsoft Web site as a kind of desperate effort. I don't.

    It's not game over yet. Google may be expanding, but it's revenue is almost totally tied to search. Google has much more to lose online than Microsoft, which doesn't rely on its Online Service Group as profit center. In fact, right now, the division is a money loser. Remove the "di" and what's left is vision, and Online Services group has some of that.

    As for search, Windows Live is a whole lot better than it was 18 months ago, and Microsoft has spiffed it up. The search experience of Windows Live embedded on a personal Web page or blog site is much better than Google (build a Live search box here to see what's up). Microsoft just needs to improve search relevancy, and it's much better today than a year ago.

    Some of Google's search rankings make me wonder how much relevancy is affected by monetary factors or number of searches for terms. In a search for "Joe Wilcox," I expected joewilcox.com to be the top hit, which it is for Windows Live Search but not for Google. The domain is No. 7 at Google, and the top hits are from my JupiterResearch Weblogs, which have been idle for seven months.

    Comparisons get fun when using seemingly generic terms, like UK Band "Little Ones": Live Search; Google. Both search engines get the goods, but it's the other "little ones" references that are interesting, as the early hits are different between the two search engines.

    The point: Windows Live Search may be underrated. Microsoft deserves more credit than given. I wouldn't have said this a year ago, but improvements are many.

    Microsoft's Online Services Group was a train wreck following the move to Windows Live branding. Recent executive turnover isn't good, either. But if the group is hiring, meaning Microsoft is investing in a money loser, there's long-term commitment. Microsoft is a tenacious competitor that has bested very successful companies by running a marathon while rivals sprinted.

    Some advice to the Online Services Group and its new hires: Google isn't worried about you. Don't worry about Google. You run the race to win, not to follow behind Google or to look over your shoulder to see where your rival is gaining.

    Bloggers and journalists are itching to write the headline "Live is Dead" because it's catchy. Why give them the satisfaction?


    Friday, June 8, 2007 5:55 PM

All replies